Almighty God, You have the sole right to make the laws. I want to be the one who willingly obeys them…
Read EXODUS 24:1-18
 Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance,  but Moses alone is to approach the LORD; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.”  When Moses went and told the people all the LORD’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the LORD has said we will do.”  Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said. He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel.  Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the LORD.  Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he sprinkled on the altar.  Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey.”  Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”  Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up  and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.  But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.  The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.”  Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God.  He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.”  When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it,  and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud.  To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.  Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did the people respond to God’s Word?
So much of the story of the Israelites seems to describe elaborate attempts to approach God. Altars are built, beasts are sacrificed and their blood splashed about all through the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). It is clear (see Exod. 20:24) that these rituals are carried out at the Lord’s command. But really, does it not all seem a long way from God’s original purpose: that he might walk with us in the garden in the cool of the day? It is because the Israelites are a sinful people that they need to go through all this ritual before only a few of them can properly meet with their God.
The Lord keeps himself in a high place. Moses and the elders climb up only after blood and worship are brought together in a way that seems to foreshadow the passion of Jesus himself. In Matthew 26:28, Jesus indeed describes the shared wine as “my blood of the covenant” The Christian’s way to an open relationship with God is certainly not easier than the one needed by the Israelites. It’s just that someone else has shed his blood and become the sacrifice for us.
Thank the Lord that, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, you can come to him simply, any time, any place, for any reason.
Lord, keep me mindful of all that You have done for me. Help me keep a good relationship with You.
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